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VENTURA COUNTY

$25,000 in Sports Jerseys Stolen at Camarillo Mall

October 02, 2002|HOLLY WOLCOTT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hoping to hit a home run on the black market, robbers struck a Camarillo sports shop and stole several shopping bags stuffed with high-end collector's jerseys worth $25,000, police and store officials said.

"These were the authentic ones, the real ones like the players wear on the field," said Daryl Brown, director of loss prevention for Just Sports, a nationwide chain of 60 stores specializing in sports items.

Brown said the robbers, reported to be males though the number is uncertain, took more than 100 basketball, baseball and football jerseys, which retail for about $250 each. The store, which is licensed by several pro sports leagues to carry the shirts, also offers mini-football helmets, team flags for mounting on vehicle windows and snapshots of popular players.

According to Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Ayub, the robbers struck shortly before closing time, entering the shop in the outlet mall on Ventura Boulevard about 8:45 p.m. Monday.

Authorities said one of the robbers sneaked up on the lone clerk and knocked him down. They said one or two other robbers then stuffed the bags with the shirts and fled.

Authorities said detectives plan to investigate whether the robbery was an inside job. The clerk on duty was fired Tuesday after giving his bosses varying versions of the holdup, Brown said.

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